Medical SEO, Medical Marketing - Agency in Singapore?

February 15, 2016

Doctors in Singapore will agree that medical marketing and SEO for doctors is tough. “How can I do clinic digital marketing or medical SEO without risking my doctor’s license?”

Here’s a breakdown of why advertising for healthcare is so tough.

Medical SEO’s Restrictions

SMC logo
MOH logo

MOH guidelines limit your medical SEO and healthcare digital marketing options.

  • No promoting yourself as the #1 choice
  • No before/after photos
  • No promising results
  • No testimonials
  • No discount codes or promos
  • No showing your face on marketing material

Many marketing agencies are unaware that digital marketing for doctors is unique. We’ve seen multiple cases of overly eager doctors hit by MOH penalties. Protect yourself.

MOH letter

Not a letter you want to see

In addition, the 2 main medical online marketing platforms (Google and Facebook) hate the healthcare industry.

adwords ban

Google admins can ban your website for MENTIONING pharmaceutical products, EVEN IF YOU ARE THE LEGAL DISTRIBUTOR.Facebook is just as bad (see surgeon Dr Calvin Lee’s rant)

Doctors need a unique way of doing healthcare SEO and clinic digital marketing that is SAFE and EFFECTIVE.

Clinic Marketing: A True Story

Aesthetic surgeons will have heard of TCS, the popular aesthetic clinic started by Dr Richard Teo (prompting this life lesson about money, Ferraris and true joy).

Nonetheless, TCS was a pioneer in SEO for plastic surgeons. Solid surgeon SEO and great clinic online marketing helped establish them as the go-to clinic in Singapore. Today, with all the new competitors, their foothold has somewhat dwindled.

But what did TCS do to dominate the industry back then?

Early Days of Medical SEO

I handled TCS’ Google AdWords back in 2010.

Optimizing the campaign wasn’t tough. Here’s another client saving 60% on the #1 spot, while beating 19 other clinics.

High CTR

What other clinics pay for the #1 position

Save CTR

What my client pays after optimization

Sadly, this wasn’t good enough. The problem with medical SEO is there are simply too many regulations and competitors, which results in 2 things.

Firstly, the self-regulating nature of this industry means RIVAL CLINICS WILL CHECK AND REPORT YOU.

Second, because of these constraints, all clinics end up DOING THE EXACT SAME THING. By using the same tactics (SEO your website, bid for AdWords keywords, Facebook promos), clinics start online bidding wars and inflate advertisement prices. The only winners in this game are Google and Facebook.

A triple whammy of MOH guidelines, competitors reporting you and Google regulation have transformed clinic marketing into one of the most challenging fields. In managing medical marketing for TCS, I struggled with policies more than I did with actual surgeon SEO!

Remember: Your Clinic Is Different

Every clinic and doctor offers something unique. Unfortunately, MOH regulations make it unfairly tough for doctors to distinguish themselves from their peers. In order to stand out from the crowd and showcase your strengths, you must use medical marketing tactics other clinics don’t know about.

My private surgeon SEO and clinic marketing clientele currently have 43 results on page 1 of Google, get leads for as little as $2.48 and as many as 94 online inquiries in a month.

Here’s how to do it.

3 Steps to Reinvent Medical Marketing

Step 1: Understand how patients find doctors

To do proper doctor SEO and clinic marketing, we need to think about how patients find you.

Imagine you’re looking for a heart specialist. Will you Google search, read a website and decide on that doctor?

Of course not! So why expect your patients to do that!?

You’d likely ask friends, browse forums and read patients’ reviews. You’d find more sources of information on the doctor. You’d then shortlist a few clinics and seek multiple opinions.

By doing only clinic SEO, AdWords and Facebook page posts, you’re completely ignoring the patient’s research process!

A nice website and medical SEO helps you appear when the patients search for a condition. But what is really needed, is to influence the patient during his research process!

Step 2: Know the constraints

To combat the regulations that make doctor SEO marketing so difficult, we must first learn them. Make sure your clinic marketer has specialized knowledge in medical marketing.

Normal marketing agency = General practitioner

Medical marketer = Specialist

Mount Elizabeth hospital

Your industry is unique. Will you seek consultation at a GP?

After thoroughly understanding these guidelines, we can craft effective tactics that are allowed (by MOH, SMC, PHMC, Google, Facebook, Instagram etc).

Step 3: Stand out and be different

This is the most critical part.

Effective surgeon SEO or healthcare marketing will be based around patient reviews, forum influencing, medical collaborations and establishing yourself as a key opinion leader.

To do so without risking your doctor’s license takes creativity. I’d like to keep the exact tactics within an exclusive group of clients and friends. Interested? Send me a message.

However, these exclusive medical SEO and clinic marketing tactics require work on your part too.

What I bring is specialist knowledge in medical marketing. However, the doctor provides the subject expertise. You are the trusted authority on medical, not me. So if you feel this will be a simple hands-off arrangement, I’m sorry, it will NOT work.


By Nate Wang

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